Autumn Gala Banquet 2023

On Friday 3rd November 2023, we made our second consecutive annual visit to Ironmongers’ Hall for the Autumn Gala Banquet and 44th Grand Chapitre Britannique—the first full outing for Justin and his new Council.

We were honoured by the presence of two members of Grand Council (Maître Argentier Nicolas Lemoine and Maître des Ambassades Philippe Brugnon) and a Grand Echevin (Traudi Kaiser)—and with 130 attendees, we completely filled the venue. What’s more, with no fewer than 30 acts of sabrage to preside over, we really had our work cut out for us with this first team outing!

Fortunately, everything worked out more or less according to plan, and we had a fantastic evening, with a phenomenal banquet accompanied by wines that were as copious as they were excellent.

At the end of the evening, Philippe made a surprise announcement: Grand Council had decided to promote Julian White (Ambassadeur Emeritus, Tout le Monde, and founder of the UK & Ireland Embassy of the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or) to the rank of Grand Commandeur Grand Croix, making him only the third recipient of this honour, and the first outside France! Julian rose to the occasion by performing an immaculate act of sabrage on a special golden bottle of Philippe Brugnon’s most prestigious wine, Cuvée Crysta Blanc de Blancs.

Memories are hazy as to what time the festivities finally wound up, but everyone agreed we had had a thoroughly splendid evening!


  • To Grand Commandeur: Ajay Nehra (Chancelier & Maître des Caveaux), Christine Rigden, Stephen Rigden
  • To Officier: Pamela Howes, Mike Howes, Jane Walker-Buckton, Rebecca Walker-Buckton, Tristan Walker-Buckton
  • To Chevalier: Julian Adams, Steve Barringer, Katie Bass, Robert Beales, Robert Brown, Jemima Dickinson, Cecilia Gejke, Oliver Hymas, Christopher Lewis, Naomi Miles, Craig Penfold, Anders Rydell, Linda Stanwell

Learn more about our ranks here, or apply for membership here.


Categorized as Events